Inventing New Products
(An excerpt from the e-book/course How To Have
Identifying true needs is a great route to new products.
Have you ever been frustrated with the assembly instructions
for something you bought? Or annoyed with the design of something?
Good news! Every frustration can be the source of new ideas.
A service that creates clear assembly and instruction manuals
might make good money, for example.
Hey, it's fun to dream up a hundred new ideas. It's even good
exercise for the brain. Sometimes, though, that's all you get.
It may be fun to imagine an inflatable helium chair that lets
you float above your home, but can you sell it?
Starting with True Needs
Starting with common and easy-to-understand problems is the
surest way to have useful ideas. If you and six
of your friends all have a similar complaint about something,
there is a true need for a new idea there. If you run into the
same frustration several times, it's time for a solution, right?
For good ideas that solve real problems, look at what annoys
you, frustrates you, gets in your way, or is difficult. Ask other
people what issues they have too. If half of your older friends
complain about stairs in their houses, it's time for a single
floor housing development.
I like to demonstrate these techniques with real examples.
I also like to do it as I write, so I can be sure that it works
as easily as I say. In this case, I'm going to think of several
annoyances or "issues" I've had in the last few days,
and use them to come up with new ideas.
Okay, it took me three minutes to come up with the following
annoyances. I'll spend a minute or two on each, to see what ideas
Delicate clothes. I want to throw everything in the
washer, and then in the dryer. I dislike digging through to see
what can't be washed in hot water, and what can't be put in the
dryer. Hmm... If there was a store, let's call it "The Simple
Life Store," that sold only clothes that could handle any
type of washing and drying, I'd shop there.
Forgetting to use what I know. I know how to reduce
stress, but I forget to use the techniques. I even forget to
use the memory techniques I know! Hmm... Would people pay for
a twice weekly call from a "life coach?" You explain
beforehand what your goals are, and they call to see if you are
on track, to remind you, and encourage you. Fifteen minutes,
Uncertain car costs. There are a few things that may
be going wrong with my car. The main stress, though, is from
the uncertainty. No problem for months, and then $400 in brake
work out of the blue. Arrgh! Maybe a mechanic could have a set
fee-per-mile for any and all maintenance and repair. Once you
sign the contract, you know what your cost will be.
Lack of space. We have a fairly small apartment. Somebody
could market a line of furniture that doubles as storage space.
Couches, chairs - even tables might be designed to provide interior
storage space, and still be attractive. A table than folds up
into the wall when we're done eating might be nice too.
Of course, once you identify the problems to be solved, you
can combine any of the various problem solving techniques to
generate ideas for new products or services. You can also use
them one by one, to get as many different...
Continued in the e-book/course How To Have New Ideas.
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